As a Connecticut divorce and family lawyer since 1998, attorney Eric Posmantier understands that the divorce process can be overwhelming for clients. Although divorce is often a complex process, it doesn’t have to be something that is confusing for you or your family. That is why, from the earliest stages of working with our firm, Attorney Posmantier will walk you through the divorce process step by step, answer your questions, and obtain the information necessary to address all aspects of your divorce in Connecticut. Below is a very brief overview of what the divorce process generally entails.
The Divorce Process
1. Initial Attorney Meeting
No two divorces are alike. We will analyze your spouse’s and your background, finances, and if the divorce involves children, your children and their needs.
In most circumstances, we do not charge for the initial meeting. In lieu of a fee, as a “pay it forward” initiative, if you feel the consult was valuable, we ask only that you make a donation of any amount to a charitable organization called Give Kids the World.
2. Grounds For Divorce
You do not need to prove grounds for the divorce beyond that the marriage has “broken down irretrievably”. There are other grounds allowed for divorce in Connecticut, which should be discussed with your attorney. Learn More
3. Court Filing
In order to officially start the divorce process, the filing party must complete and serve on the other party the following three forms:
The timing and method of service of process should be carefully considered because it will set the tone for the weeks and months to follow.
4. Next Steps
The next steps usually involve the negotiation of a parenting plan (if applicable), and the exchange of information, such as financial institution statements. The latter part is often called “the discovery process”. Additionally, each party is required to complete a document called a “financial affidavit”. The financial affidavit must be completed carefully because it is sworn under oath, and ultimately becomes the cornerstone of the final negotiation or trial.
Once the discovery process is completed, a financial negotiation will occur. That negotiation can occur through each party’s counsel, or with the help of a neutral facilitator (such as an attorney-mediator or judge-mediator).
5. The Final Steps or Trial
Prior to the pandemic, upon settlement, at least one party had to go to court for a relatively quick final divorce hearing in front of a judge. Recently, the rules changed whereby all of the necessary settlement documents can be submitted electronically, and a court appearance is no longer required. Instead, the judge reviews the documents at his or her leisure, and then a notice is sent out to both parties indicating whether the settlement documents have been approved by the judge. If they are approved, then a final judgment of divorce is entered immediately.
If the parties to the divorce cannot reach an agreement on all issues, then the court will schedule a trial to occur. Trial dates usually occur 12 to 24 months following the commencement of the divorce action.